tv Martin Bashir MSNBC January 23, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm EST
here. we begin as the republicans backyard brawl moves south just hours from tonight's nbc debate in tampa with the surging swinger, newt gingrich on the collision course with mitt romney. gingrich lashed out hitting mitt with his favorite lunch meat attack. >> it's such bologna. >> that after mitt made it clear his gloves are off going after gingrich this morning as the cay street candidate. >> if you're working for a company, getting paid for a company through one of your many entities and speaking with
congressmen in way that would help that company, that's lobbying. >> absolutely, mr. romney. not to be stopped there, romney hit harder against gingrich's infamous instability. >> question see an october surprise today from newt gingrich. look at the speaker's record over time. it's been highly erratic. he's gone from pillar to post almost like a pinball machine. >> one begins to wonder if there's signs of instability within the faltering romney campaign. mr. gingrich is out in force taking it to his number one rival, the media. nbc's own david gregory on "meet the press" this sunday. >> people are sick and told of being allowed what they are allowed to think and say. again and again it came up in
the two debates, the highest, the most intense passion in both debates was a head on collision about what the the news media was doing. >> if it works, work it. gingrich knows his media attacks are working. thanking the press for his south carolina victory on saturday. >> people reacted so strongly to the news media. the american people feel that they have elites who have been trying for half century to force us to quit being american and become some kind of other system. >> for the record, i have never nor can i recall any of my colleagues trying to force anyone to quit being american. mr. gingrich, the liberal media will not stand for this. >> john king is a completely fair reporter, unhonorable reporter and newt gingrich goes back to the well of attacking the media. i resent that.
>> the florida state awaits. let's bring in our triple panel. clarence page, karen finney and jonathan capehart. john, you reprehensible journalist, defend yourself. >> talk about pious bologna. he attacks the immediamedia, bu where he is because of the media. this is a guy who knows how to work it. he knows how to work the press, the anger towards the press and the grievance politics festers there within the conservative ranks of the republican party. >> let's not forget he was highly paid by fox news. he was very much part of the organization, the business that
he attacks. karen, watching mitt romney going negative and nasty on newt is like trying to imagine the dahli lama starting a bar fight. it seems out of personality. it's kind of difficult, isn't it? >> with that example, i know you're trying to get me to not be american, and i'm not going to let you do it. >> exactly. >> it's clearly not in mitt romney's comfort zone to be on the attack. you have the feeling when he was in business and bain did go in and re-organize, somebody else handled the dirty work. he might have been the guy in the boardroom, but he wasn't delivering the bad news. this is a new role for him. he's as uncomfortable with that as talking about his personal wealth. he's clearly got to show that he's got the gumption for what
the republican primary believes is the kind of attack dog that will kneecap a barack obama. on the other side, romney knows that a general election electorate doesn't want to see that. >> clarence, how nervous do you think the republican establishment is right now. in that same interview, she slammslam ed gingrich as the least conservative and the least electable, but gallup's poll has him tied with romney. newt could win this nomination, couldn't he? >> quite right. leave it to you to go have me agreeing with ann colter. this is great moment. >> go for it. >> even a stop clock is right twice a day and she was dead on correct when she said that
there's a lot of -- well, south carolina republican voters voted for newt because they wanted to hear him get real sassy against barack obama. the fact is he's not going to win over independent voters. he didn't appealing to women by burying his own domestic troubles by one more take on the media. republicans in washington, this weekend were as my friend mike murphy was saying, republicans were buying hard liquor this weekend while democrats were buying champagne. either way the industry did well. >> tim pawlenty has been campaigning for romney since dropping out and he got quite aggressive over newt's lobbying. >> he's called upon govern
romney to be transparent and speaker gingrich needs to be transparent. the notion he was paid $1.7 million as a historian is just b.s. >> did he just say b.s.? >> he did. he's on fire like burning paper, not an inferno. remember, tim pawlenty, is the same guy that came up with one of the most brilliant attack lines against mitt romney. when it came time to use it standing next to mitt romney, he refused to do it. he didn't show the fighting instinct. now that he's showing it over a phone call isn't terribly convincing. >> karen, you feel some sympathy? >> i think when you have tim pawlenty calling something b.s., that's pretty tough, i guess. i don't know. >> tough in a clean nation kind of way. >> is it easter or something?
i don't know. part of what we're seeing is different surrogates who you will see step in and out from time to time. part of what they are trying to do is audition on a short list to be the v.p. >> that's a great point. tim pawlenty is not that guy. the real attack dog, if you ask me, which you didn't, chris christy christy. >> there was oneself a politician said it was like being attacked by a dead sheep. i guess tim pawlenty got it pretty tough. is pretty obama smiling and laughing now? he must be. >> i can only imagine that he and the rest of his team are. they are continuing to treat mitt romney as the presumptive nominee. florida will make the big
difference. remember four years ago john mccane's campaign was saved by florida. then, the far right reluctantly supported him for the nomination. now, we've seen this resur gent or insurgent tea party movement. it's possible newt gingrich will win florida. that will give him big momentum going into super tuesday and other races down the road. we'll see. >> our instant polling says you've been so great, we'll keep you for the next. stay where you are. coming up, unemployment near 10%, a housing crisis in full bloom. why florida may be the real test of 2012. >> i have emotion and passion.
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your hip, groin or thigh. the most common side effects include flu-like symptoms, fever, muscle or join pain, headache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. if you have questions about your current treatment, ask your doctor about reclast. just how important is florida to a race that technically isn't decided until the convention there in august? here is mitt romney. here is what he told peter alexander. >> i think florida will have a big impact. it's very possible that florida's choice will become the nominee. >> perhaps not the smartest statement to make so soon after newt gingrich took him to the
wood shed. newt gingrich has an 84% of winning. romney needs florida. he's fashioned a strategy with a state with the highest foreclosure rate and unemployment is at 10%. a state that doesn't take kindly to former freddie mac employees. >> while florida families lost everything in the housing crisis, newt gingrich cashed in. he was paid over $1.6 million. >> i offer advice. >> a historian, really? >> joining us again by popular demand jonathan capehart and karen finney. karen, give me your impression of newt's victory speech which has been described as the least generous speech. >> what struck me is it was incredibly nasty and devicive.
it was vintage newt gingrich. i've said from the beginning that the whole premise of newt's time this time around is do you believe that this is new newt, not the old vindictive newt. this is the guy that has found god. >> the renewed newt, the forgiven newt. >> that kind of deviciveness that we saw, yes, he is brilliantly tapping into anger and resentiment among the primary conservatives and the code language. at the same time, it's that deviciveness that got him into trouble when he was in the building behind me all those years ago. for people who know newt, that's the guy they are most afraid of getting the nomination. >> indeed. clarence, mitt said it himself. do you agree with romney that as florida goes, so goes the nomination? >> i agree. i think florida is such a crucial swing state.
it's so big. it's diverse. it's really three or four states depending on how you want to slice it up between north florida, south florida and mid florida along that corridor where orlando is. that's where the real swing voters are right in the center of the state. romney can now wage the aggressive campaign that he's begun to wage. i think we will see a really brutal blood bath between the two of them. that's what it's going to take because he has to undercut gingrich now. republicans are looking for a fighter. they are looking for somebody on their side as all voters do. right now, romney has not portrayed himself as being that much on the side of the ordinary voter as much as gingrich has. gingrich is still vulnerable. >> indeed. we're looking forward to the latest edition of this caged fight. jon, romney gave us a preview
saying gingrich should give back the money he earned from freddie mac and we need to now about the historical advise. do you think the freddie mac attack line is a strong one for mitt? >> it's a strong one. i think governor romney is hope that will resonate with florida voters. what you have happening, is there's two strains within the republican party. they want someone who will take the fight and be angry and take the fight to president obama, which is the tea party wing, the far right conservative wing and then you have the established wing which wants someone who can go toe to toe with president obama and win the presidency by delivering a message that's forward and hopeful but can reach out to independents and moderates. what you're seeing with the attacks from romney on gingrich, you're looking at a man who is not necessarily tapping into the
anger of the tea party electorate high pressure he's tapping into his own anger that he had going into iowa has been completely stripped away. he is literally fighting for his political life in florida. >> do you think he is suffering a sort of panic attack at the moment? >> well, it's probably desperation mode. it's a classic mistake that a lot of people make in assessing arguments against newt gingrich, which is it's not just the specifics of freddie and fanny and pay for access. it goes to the same argument that you're seeing being made about mitt romney and that's credibility. that's here is a man that's
trying to present himself as one thing on the campaign trail, a moral guy, a blue collar guy. he used all of those relationships to parlay that into millions of dollars. he may not be as rich as mitt romney, but he's rich. they are realizing they are stuck with two really awful choices. >> on that point, i think we have to end this segment. you could not be more categoric. now to an update on senator mark kirk who is in intensive care ward at a hospital. the 52-year-old senator is ref covering from surgery following a stroke. right now doctors say they are pleased with his progress. the senator's ability to think and speak was not affected. he will likely have movement problems on the left side of his body. of course, we, along with
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coming off his massive victory in south carolina, newt gingrich carries some new found confidence into florida, not that he was lacking in that department. he gets another shot to show everyone how smart he is. for more on what to expect i'm joined by john harwood. these debates have been pivotal to his success. how does one disarm newt tonight? how does one not allow him to determine the shape of the debate? >> first of all, martin, i think brian williams needs to wear a helmet to that debate because you never know how much newt will come after him. the person that needs to disarm
him is not brian williams, but mitt romney. you'll have to watch the dynamic whether or not mitt romney decides to intervene if he goes off after the media again. for him to say it's not just the media raising questions about your work for freddie mac and fanniem mae. he's contributed to the foreclosure crisis. mitt romney has to go on the attack and it's not in his interest to have newt gingrich limit his attack. >> being an attack dog doesn't come naturally to mitt romney. he's more op an attack rabbit. >> he's a nice guy that likes to smile a lot. he's straining to try to suggest
impropriety on his part. the forces have had the ability to put newt gingrich down. they have to do it again, and they have a week to do it. >> i guess we are duty bound to mention the other two candidates in this race. all kidding aside, do they deserve their time there? >> sure they do. ron paul has a following. it's been consistent throughout the primary season. he's got a very committed following. he's going to pursue that all the way to the convention to try to influence the platform. rick santorum probably has one more shot in florida to show that he has staying power in the race. what we have seen is the beginning in south carolina of a
collapse of the tea party republicans, the most conservative republicans, toward newt gingrich as the principal alternative. it would be great for mitt romney if rick santorum could stay viable beyond florida, but it's not clear he will do that. >> a final and brief answer, is it your expectation that if rick santorum does poorly in florida, he'll be out? >> i don't think he'll have any alternative. i don't think he'll have the noun go on. he shooehe's going to but a bad result could cripple him quickly. thanks so much. don't miss the republican tonight on a special edition of "rock center" with brian williams. live from tampa at 9:00 eastern on nbc. stay with us the the day's top lines are coming. >> if it walks like a duck and
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political fortunes at stake as we mark the chinese new year. here are today's top lines, the year of the dragon. >> in florida my case will be simple. >> if you look back at the last couple of debates, he was angry. >> i think he has been dancing on edge try to figure out how to find a version of romney that will work. >> i don't think i have any challenge connecting with people on an emotional level. >> your son tweet outd a photo of you doing laundry on primary do. do you see photos and say maybe we're trying too hard? >> who else is going to do laundry. >> we just made a mistake in holding off as long as we did. >> i think it's the right thing to do. >> our riches, you can value them in the children we have and
in the grand children we have. >> speaker made $1.7 million. he ought to give it back. >> david, you know better than that. i was not a lobbyist. >> saying he was a lobbyist, is a matter of fact. >> here is somebody who believes none of his business records. >> he talks about great bold movement and ideas, what's he's been doing for 15 years? he's been wo the guy that we sa best to go into the arena and beat barack obama. >> he had to resign. >> people are sick and tired of being told what they are allowed to think. >> we could see an october surprise today from newt gingrich. >> let's get to our panel now. joining us michael eric dyson
and john phillips, founder of the tea party nation. newt gingrich has mr political lives than wives. you said it months ago that newt gingrich would be the nominee. should newt gingrich win florida's 50 delegates, he would become the delegate. how has he done it? >> everything he has thrown out, it's been absolute red base. >> just on that specific point, you say he's thrown out red meat to the base. do you include those barely concealed, rationally charged devicive comments about the president being a food stamp's president? >> there's nothing racial about that. he is a food stamp president. he's gotten more people on food stamps. >> that's untrue.
george w. bush had -- >> that's not what i read. >> george w. bush had more people on food stamps. not this president. that's a lie. >> i will check the information. >> don't use that as an assertion. >> regardless. newt gingrich wants to get people off of food samptamps. that's the antiracist position. if you want somebody on food stamps, you ought to have your head examined. >> when he said he makes them nervous. he's right. this is not the scenario they wanted? s >> not at all. they don't want us speaking about newt gingrich who is talking about food stamp president. we're going to take a person's
crutches away from them. getting people off of food stamps, shredding the safety net. most people are not african-american. we know it's a cig any f si sig. i don't think the republican party wants a defensive figure like newt gingrich. he's a great debater. he's a smart guy. he's a historically informed person. the downside is he's a guy that divides this nation viciously and builterly. i think in that sense they don't stand. >> judson, one of the things i find hard to understand is why a tea party man like yourself would support an individual who has basically spent most of his adult life in washington is an
establishment as you can imagine, then goes out and does historical work for various institutions. some people would call it lobbying, i don't understand how you get your head around the idea of newt given he could not be more a part of the weave and wolf of washington, d.c. than anybody else. >> it's really simple. we want a conservative government. who is the only guy who has led a conservative revolution in washington? it was newt gingrich. he took congress back from the democrats in 1994. he implemented a conservative agenda, reformed welfare and made congress live under the laws that they impose on everything else. that's pretty conservative. the establishment threw him out. who led the fight against newt gingrich in 1998? it was a guy named john boehner. the guy who is the speaker of the house who hauls up his freshly white flag of surrender
every opportunity he gets so he can surrender harry reid and nancy p pelosi. >> he's done everything in his power to oppose the president. the two other candidates in this race can't seem to buy a headline from anyone. who have one man who is the point man for sweater vests while the other has been defending his senator son today from the roving hands of the tsa. are they basically bistanders in this thing? >> i think so. i have to say that newt gingrich didn't balance the budget, bill clinton balanced the budget. the reality is raon paul and rik santorum may be footnotes to this battle royal between newt gingrich and mitt romney. it's a battle for the soul of the republican party. will they acknowledge it has a heart, compassion for those that
are poor, or already it continue to demonize them and engage in wolf whistling but dividing us in ways that are reprehensible and need to be called into question. >> question to both of you. who do you think -- do you think romney given his natural disposition for conflict avoidance, do you think he's going to be able to throw a few punches tonight? romney has all the ferocity of an attack goldfish. attacking is just not something that's in his nature. >> you love attacking don't you? you love it? >> absolutely. i love a good street brawl. it's failing that mitt romney has and that's part of who he is. newt gingrich is better at it.
newt gingrich is much smarter than mitt romney. i don't think mitt romney can draw the blood needed the fight gingrich one-on-one. >> professor dyson, your view. >> he's snarkier. newt gingrich has descendsed into muck raking and slinging. now the vicious politics of that has come back to bite him. they beat up on the morals issues with progressives and liberals and here is a guy who his own former wife talks about open relationship and he uses that to get legitimate si about people that are concerned about the value of moral life. i just don't get it. i think newt gingrich is a guy that will get anything to get where he wants to get.
>> if you don't get it, no many of the rest of us do either. thanks so much for joining us. >> thanks for having me. a preview of the president's state of the union address. a get real report card on the u.s. economy. stay with us. ♪ believe the more you know, the better you trade. so we have ongoing webinars and interactive learning, plus, in-branch seminars at over 500 locations, where our dedicated support teams help you know more so your money can do more. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start. our teams have the information you want when you need it. it's another reason more investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade. >> my name is jane and i've got osteoporosis. but i'm an on-the-go woman; i've been active all my life. that's why i'm excited
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fairly eventful occasion. >> reporter: this could turn into one of those mixed martial arts events. over the weekend you know that governor chris christy referred to gingrich as an embarrassment from the gop. he's stayed away from responding directly to that. the folks on the romney side, their strategy is to come out hard in this debate against newt gingrich. ramp up his takes on the former speaker. the speaker today said that mitt romney has gone from pious bologna to just desperate bologna. it will be interesting to see how much sparring they get into. >> in the gallup's tracking poll, romney has a one-point lead over newt gingrich nationally, 29 to 28%. all of the signs show that mitt
romney will go gingrich harder tonight. is gingrich ready for this? >> reporter: he has to be ready because of the money disadvantage. he will use these two debates as the best chances of him getting in front of the 4.1 registered republican voters here in the state of florida. florida is the first of the money winner takes offer. this is a not a proportional victory. whoever wins on tuesday will take all the delegates. one thing he has to be prepared for is the discussion on the housing crisis. the next stalt after that is nevada. they are hit there hard. he's got to defend his record with freddie mac. how much money did he make, how little money did he make? he claims the 35,000. the romney campaign says $1.7 million. >> romney has been spending
millions in florida already. attack ads are running. you seeing any fight back from gingrich there in terms of the airways? >> reporter: the pro-gingrich super pac will start putting ads on the air tomorrow. the pro-romney ad will go up on wednesday and carry through next tuesday. rom has a huge advantage in terms of people on the ground and in terms of money. newt gingrich knows that. today he told this small crowd it's going to be people power versus money power. >> thanks for joining us this afternoon. >> reporter: okay. >> don't miss the republican debate on a special edition of "rock center" with brian williams live from tampa at 9:00 eastern on nbc. we'll be right back. get in the ! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies?
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on the eve of president obama's state of the union address, there's little doubt that his focus will be on the economy. there's signs of recovering taking hold, and the president is certain to take congress while republicans in congress are not waiting for the speech to pounce on what they see as broken promises and failed policy. >> i've read a lot about what the president will talk about tuesday night. that sounds to me like the same old policies that we have seen, more spending, higher taxes, more regulations. this same policies that haven't helped our economy. they have made them worse. if that's what the president will talk about tuesday night, i think it's pathetic. >> good afternoon, jarrett. when you hear the speaker of the house call the president's speech, pathetic especially in light of some better economic news recently.
what is your reaction? >> especially in the light that the speech haven't been given yet. >> indeed. >> it's just spining. it's positioning and it's inconsistent with inconsistent need our policymakers to be talking about now. >> but it's also untrue. he said we're going to have more policies about raising taxes. when has the president raised taxes? >> absolutely. the president has lowered taxes much more than he gets credit for. but, look. i think the president is going to be out there tomorrow night talking about the broad structure of the economy from the perspective of the middle class. that's a discussion that makes republicans very uncomfortable right now because the positions that they have been taking, i think, have been correctly been cast as hurtful to the middle class. >> you mean by that mr. gingrich's view that poor children should clean toilets.
but what would a romney or gingrich presidency mean for the u.s. economy? i look at mr. romney's economic plan and the single greatest beneficiary would appear to be himself. >> right. i think if you want to get an understanding of the economic policies imbedded in every single republican candidate, including the ones that have dropped out, all you haved to to know is supply-side trickle down. at its root, every one of them is playing from the same play book that president george bush played from. a decade that was particularly tough on job growth and the middle class. what the conservatives are saying, they want to frame the president's views, the kind of views he will talk about tomorrow, as if capitalism is on trial. no. what's on trial is the following question. is the average american getting a fair shake in today's economy? that, to me, is the heart of what the president is going to talk about tomorrow. it's the most critical policy
question for an elect rat. >> looking at your own economics crystal ball, how far will the unemployment number drop by the summer? and will it be enough for president obama to beat back the relentless attacks that are coming from people like newt gingrich and mitt romney? >> the challenge on the unemployment rate, martin, is interesting. as the economy improves and we start adding more jobs, you're going to be pulling more people into the job market. people sitting on the sides. if you're sitting on the sides, you're not counted. that's going to put pressure. i think the president is going to have some momentum on the unemployment rate, but more broadly, on the larger economy. and i think that the momentum will help him. >> i want to finally ask you about something you wrote in a new york times story about apple computer. i'm quoting you. "apple's an example of why social security so hard to create middle-class jobs in the
u.s. now. if it's the pinnacle of capitalism, we should be worried." what did you mean by that, jared? >> i thought this article did a great job of explaining that kind of a concept. what i meant was that the structure of production of this great device, the apple iphone, is one that leaves many in the american middle class quite far behind. we simply don't have the production platform that china has when it comes to putting together that kind of a device and those kind of devices are dominant in our economy right now. we need to think in a more forward-thinking matter about industrial policy that let's america play a significant role in that kind of economic production. >> jared bernstein, brilliant on the numbers and economics. thank you. tune in tomorrow night for the president's state of the union address at 9:00 p.m. eastern here on msnbc. we just learned congresswoman
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it's time to clear the air. at this point in the broadcast, we normally offer our own distinctive take on whatever is dominating the news. so today, we focus on newt gingrich. a man who trounsed mitt romney in south carolina and is getting ready to rip him to pieces in tonight's nbc debate in florida. we came across an editorial from "the new york times" that provides a brilliant distillation of newt gingrich's character and political development. it starts with those who newt hates the most. he describes himself as a bat ler against liberal e lites and the media. as we know, mr. gingrich has been blaming the media for twisting everything from his
multiple marriages and vast income. the editorial goes on to describe how newt has decided to use code words, which barely conceal a tone of racial devisiveness and contempt for the poor. the editorial goes on. "mr. gingrich has reinvented the political landscape of his youth. a sun belt where politicians communicate in the code words of george wallace. the code words, of course, had much to do with race. but this race-based anger charged politics mutated in mr. gingrich into a more general lietzed moral authoritytism. mr. gingrich wants to be obeyed. indeed he does. when he refers to mr. obama atz the greatest food stamps president in modern history, it doesn't matter that it's not true. it allows him to use those code
words that he loves. so according to "the new york times," mr. gingrich hates the media and his campaigning is marked by the deliberate use of racially devisive language. but guess when that editorial was published. november 13th, 1994. yes, say what you like about mitt romney being the king of the flip-flop. newt gingrich hasn't changed in 20 years. thanks so much for watching. dylan ratigan is here. briefly stopping by new york on his 30 million jobs tour. >> there's 300 million of us. we're down about 30 million jobs. we're trying to work on it. >> it was great. you were on the west coast last week. where are you going next? >> we're going to florida this week. obviously, it's perhaps one of the most paradise venues. and it's ground zero